Archive for November, 2010

Say No To Plastic Bags! Project AWARE

Monday, November 29th, 2010 @ 11:17 News, Project AWARE

“Say No To Plastic Bags ” was the theme of todays Project AWARE Event !!

There is one simple action we can all take that will have an enormous impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants. The next time you shop, don’t leave the store carrying a plastic bag. If everyone did this, one of the most lethal polluters created by man would be removed from circulation.

Consider the Following Shocking Facts About Plastic Shopping Bags:

Green turtles often mistake plastic bags for food

  • Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
  • Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled
  • It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
  • Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals.
  • 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.
  • These animals suffer a painful death, the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death

There are Alternatives to Plastic Bags !!

Countries all over the world are slowly becoming aware of the threat plastic bags present to our world. Many have enacted laws aimed to decrease the use of plastic bags, while others have, or are, planning to impose taxes on the use of plastic bags.

Group of Project AWARE Participants helping with a beach cleanup

TODAY, Downbelow hosted and funded another Project AWARE Beach & Snorkel cleanup at their base on Gaya Island with a clear message ” SAY NO TO PLASTIC BAGS”

We invited a group from the Asian Tourist International College to help us. This educational event was a huge success with lots of rubbish cleaned up & lots of BBQ chicken eaten ;)

We would like to say a big thankyou to all the gang for their help and as always a special thanks to the Downbelow staff team who not only ensured the day ran safely & smoothly but also took great care of our regular guests who were doing all kinds of activities from various PADI courses & fun dives to discover scuba & snorkeling programs.

Thanks Guys !

Downbelow will be making a donation to the Project Aware Foundation as part of this program in support of their good work.

If anyone wishes to learn more about Project AWARE please visit the Project AWARE Foundation website.

To see more images of this fun day please visit our Facebook page.

Thank you to all of Downbelow

Friday, November 26th, 2010 @ 14:37 Guestbook

Dear Sarah,

I would you like to say thank you to all of you especially my instructor – Lesta (Lester) (hope I am not spelling it wrong :P). I know that he had to take a lot of time to taking care of me, and I got a great experience on that day.

Hope I can stay more days to have fun and dive in your center.

Again, thank you very much for the arrangement and your patience to answer my lots of questions.

Best wishes,
Isis Li

A happy Downbelow's Customer, Isis Li

A happy Downbelow's Customer, Isis Li

Thanks to Downbelow it couldn’t have gone more smoothly

Friday, November 26th, 2010 @ 14:25 Guestbook

Hi Carol,

I just wanted to send you an e-mail to let you know that we had an absolutely amazing time in Borneo. The hotels were lovely, the diving was superb and everybody was really friendly. We couldn’t have asked for more. I really appreciate you phoning us at the Shangri-La too. That was a nice surprise!

I can’t believe the holiday is over already, but thanks to you it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. It is safe to say we will be back to Sabah at some point in the future as there is still so much we want to see.

Thanks once again for everything!


PROMOTION: Learn to Scuba Dive PADI Open Water Course & Advanced Diver with Accommodation

Sunday, November 14th, 2010 @ 10:19 Learn to Dive in Kota Kinabalu, News, Promotions

Learn to Scuba Dive in Sabah Borneo on a stunning tropical island !!

The fun does not stop here: if you are serious about not just learning to dive but also extending your skill level then complete the PADI Open Water Course & PADI Advanced Open Water Course with us on Gaya Island.

Get qualified as an Open Water Scuba Diver

Backpacker’s Scuba Diving Promotion

Outstanding Value Backpacker Promo RM 2,080 – all inclusive!

5 days PADI Open Water Course & Advance Open Water Course +
6 Nights Accommodation with daily breakfast at RM 2,080 per person

Package Includes: Return transfers from lodge, return boat transfers to Gaya Island, required PADI Materials (yours to keep), PADI qualification and registration fees, park and jetty fees, equipment (except dive computer) refreshments – free flow water / tea / coffee, freshly and cooked lunch.

Prices are NETT and include hotel government and service tax.
No single supplement. No peak season surcharge!

Facilities Includes:

Breakfast with free flow of filtered drinking water
Comfortable single bed with spring mattress
Dormitory with air conditioning
Shared Bathroom and Shower with Hot Water
Satelite TV ( ASTRO ) in the cozy Living Lounge
CCTV Security System
Free WIFI in the Lounge
Laundry Services
Pool Table in Lounge
IDD Telephone Line at reception

Gaya Island within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park in Kota Kinabalu Sabah provides an ideal venue for both of the courses with confined shallow, sandy areas right in front of our PADI 5 Star Dive & Adventure Centre which are ideal for skill practice and we also have 49 dive sites accessible to us with Wreck, reefs and lots of critters to explore which is perfect for PADI Advance Open Water Course.

See amazing sights in the TAR Park

All the academic takes place on the island so you will get a real experience on the sea rather than stuck in the class room!! Enjoy our tropical surroundings chatting about all the wonderful creatures you will have spotted. We are the only operator here so our surrounds are non crowded.

PADI Open Water Course

The PADI Open Water Course is the first certification within the PADI system of education, you complete a Knowledge Development session (Home Study) with elaboration from your instructor throughout the academic portion of the course, quizzes and a final exam, 5 confined water dives – this is where you learn diving skills, plus 4 open water dives where you put your skills into practice.

You will also be asked to swim 200m and float / tread water for 10 minutes as part of the watermanship assessment. Our absolute maximum ratio is four people on a course with 1 instructor.

Our PADI Courses are performance based, so only once students have fully understood and mastered one section do you progress to the next.

PADI Advanced Open Water Course

PADI’s Advanced Open Water Diver program fine tunes your dive skills and allows you to explore some of diving’s top adventures. We find that this course attracts divers with varied amounts of experience from those who have just gained their Open Water Certification to those who have been diving for some years.

Every Advanced Course option includes the two required core dives, Deep Diver and Navigation Diver.

2 Day Program

2 x Core Dives: Deep Diver and Navigation Diver
3 x Elective Dives. Please choose any 3 from the list below which are ideally suited to our environment.
Search & Recovery
Fish Identification
Peak Performance Buoyancy
Underwater Photography (rental cameras available at MYR 150.00 or RM 225.00 per day (depending on model) if clients do not have their own)
Wreck Diver
Multi Level Diver (dive computer rental available if client does not have their own RM 50.00 per day)
Boat Diver

Contact us to book now!

Try the Fish ID Elective

Take the Master Scuba Diver Challenge with Downbelow on Gaya Island

Sunday, November 7th, 2010 @ 10:06 News, Promotions

Take the Master Scuba Diver Challenge!!

in the best of the best in recreational scuba diving. Do it by becoming a PADI Master Scuba Diver – a rating that puts you in a class of distinction.

This is not a course in itself, its a direct application to PADI through a Dive Centre and it means that you’ve acquired significant training and experience in a variety of dive environments.

With the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating, you’ve reached the highest non professional level in the PADI System of diver education.

Learn how to capture your magical moments underwater with Downbelow's Digital Underwater Photography course

So How Does This Work?

Participants can join us for a 1 month internship or for the amount of time required to complete your training.

It could be as little as 1 day, it all depends on what diver qualifications and how many dives you have completed at the time of beginning the program.

The price of the course varies depending on what and how many specialities you will be taking.

The Master Scuba Diver Challenge

You can decide to take the challenge at any point of your diving education, because we will tailor the course to your specific diving ability and interest.

It also makes it easier for you to achieve this rating and makes it fun and rewarding.

To qualify as a Master Scuba Diver you must be a PADI Rescue Diver with 50 logged dives and 5 speciality ratings.

Take a look at our PADI Speciality Course page to decide which specialities interest you. Note that if during your PADI Advanced Course you completed one of the dives that correspond to your chosen speciality, it can be credited towards your speciality course and reduce the time and cost of the course.

For a limited period we are giving the Master Scuba Diver application fee for FREE!

Please contact us, telling us your current diver level, how many dives you have completed, how much time you have to complete the challenge and what level of accommodation you require – we will put together a fantastic quotation for you!

PROMOTION – Begin your PADI Dive Course NOW via eLearning & get a FREE Scuba Dive

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 @ 12:55 Learn to Dive in Kota Kinabalu, News, Promotions

It could not be easier to start your PADI Diving Course right now … in the comfort of you own home, office, garden or whilst travelling you can log onto our PADI eLearning portal and begin your diving adventure.

Start eLearning today and save your holiday for divingOnce completed you are ready to join us on Gaya Island for the fun part of the course!

eLearning is now available for the following courses & programs:

Scuba Tune Up
PADI Open Water Diver ( English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian & Japanese)
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
PADI Rescue Diver
PADI Divemaster Theory

PADI Digital Underwater Photographer
PADI Enriched Air Diver

PADI Instructor Development Course

Why wait until you’re on holiday, sign up now and we will give you 1 extra dive for FREE at Gaya Island!

If diving isn’t for you – then why not buy a voucher for a friend or family member !

START eLearning NOW!

Nothing but praises for Downbelow

Monday, November 1st, 2010 @ 14:26 Guestbook

Hello Shirley.

I am now back in Kuala Lumpur. I just want to thank all the Dive Downbelow team for making my 1st experience of diving so memorable.

I have nothing but praises to all of you. Bob was my instructor for that day. My partner and I were thankful to have him since he was very calm and supportive during the trip. We felt like a family there, and I noticed that everyone is so warm and friendly. All the boys are very hardworking and they seemed very happy.

We are thinking to go back to KK and taking Scuba license after this. I will let you know.

Akmal and Hasif

Successful IDC & IE Gaya Island, TARP Kota Kinabalu

Monday, November 1st, 2010 @ 12:52 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Congratulations to all the IDC candidates for successfully passing their PADI Instructor Examination and becoming PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

Instructor Exam - Gaya Island 2010Big thanks to the team at Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures – DIVE DOWNBELOW – who’s support was key to the guys success.

Well done to our Course Director Joseph Chung, Master Instructor & DDB Director Richard Swann, Staff Instructor James Matthews and Susan for staffing the course and putting in so many hours to ensure the candidates success :)

Thank you to PADI and PADI’s Instructor Examiner Jim Woodhull.

WELL DONE and lets look forward to the next IDC on starting 15th March 2011 !!!!!!

Should you wish to join our next IDC please contact us either by email, telephone or visit our Dive Shop and Travel Centre.

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!